Campus COVID-19 Update

April 11, 2021


Dear Campus Community,

We write today to update you on results from Friday’s testing and to give you a better sense of how we are approaching the current spike in cases. 

First of all, thank you for your cooperation and support over the past week. The restrictions implemented are neither easy to implement nor adhere to, but in consultation with our medical experts and the Worcester Division of Public Health, we believe these measures are necessary  to slow the spread of cases we’ve seen this week. The College and our public health officials are looking to see our daily case numbers decline, and to see our daily intake into the hotel decline sufficiently enough to be at sustainable levels. Once we see sustainable trends take hold, we plan to ease these restrictions.

Over the weekend we’ve seen a few questions pop up about the restrictions, so we’ve added answers to some of the most frequently asked questions at the end of our announcement, which can be found here

Additionally, we are working with the Massachusetts Department of Health to arrange for sequencing of our positive samples. This will help us further understand the nature of our cases, given the observed rapid spread, heightened symptoms, and how the transmission is taking place both indoors and outdoors.

Friday’s test results produced additional positive cases, which are in the process of being traced this weekend. There were eight new positive student cases, some of those we had already accounted for as presumptive positive cases and external cases.

You may have noticed an increased staff presence on campus this weekend, monitoring for mask use and physical distancing. We’re not fond of taking these measures, but the stakes are high, and we’re doing it to preserve the rest of the term.

We all look forward to the day when enough of the population is protected by vaccines that we can return to a more normal experience on the Hill. As you know, Massachusetts is working its way through various phases of its vaccination program. You may also know that all of our students, including out-of-state and international students, are eligible to get the vaccine in Massachusetts. We’ve created an FAQ to shed some more light on the process. 

Keep in mind that eligibility opens up for everyone 16 and older on April 19, so out-of-state students should take timing into consideration when deciding whether to sign up in Massachusetts or in their home state.

Thank you again for doing your part to help us stay #HCTogether.

COVID Core Team